(CN) – The 9th Circuit allowed senior citizens to proceed with a class action accusing Midland National Life Insurance Co. of violating Hawaii’s Deceptive Practices Act by misrepresenting annuities as low-risk investments.
The appellate panel in Hawaii reversed the lower court’s denial of class certification, saying the plaintiffs didn’t need to show “subjective, individualized reliance on deceptive practices.”
Judge Schroeder said this requirement, imposed by the lower court, contradicted the Hawaii Supreme Court’s interpretation of state law, which favors an “objective reasonable person” standard.
The 9th Circuit quoted the state high court as saying, “actual deception need not be shown; the capacity to deceive is sufficient.”
The plaintiffs claimed that Midland hid the risks of its annuities between 2001 and 2005, and deceptively marketed them as suitable for seniors when they weren’t.